The cover image from Cordite Poetry Review 37.1: Nebraska (2012), a detail from Bruce Springsteen's 1982 album, Nebraska.

Cordite 37.1: Nebraska

Released in conjunction with the Cordite-Prairie Schooner co-feature, Cordite 37.1: Nebraska is a tribute to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska album, presented by Sean M. Whelan and Liner Notes.

Cordite 37.1: Nebraska features original audio and text works by 11 of Australia’s finest writers and spoken word performers, all responding to Nebraska, track by track (plus a special bonus track).

Contributors:

Neil Boyack, Josephine Rowe, Omar Musa, Gabriel Piras, Samuel Wagan Watson, Eric Dando, Jessica Alice, Josh Earl, Alicia Sometimes, Emilie Zoey Baker and Ben Pobjie.

Sean M. Whelan’s editorial outlines the genesis of the Liner Notes project and also discusses the significance of the Nebraska album:

Nebraska in the form we know and love today was never meant to be released. Recorded originally as a demo in Springsteen’s home on a four-track cassette recorder it was later given the full E-Street band treatment in the studio, ready to be unleashed on the world. But after comparing the two, Springsteen and his manager and close friend Jon Landau decided that something got lost in the transition. Something gritty, raw and real. So the demo, recorded on a $5 cassette was handed in as the end product, a remarkable act for a major label to concede.

Nebraska (2012)

Side A.
1. A Record of Our Trip (Nebraska) – Neil Boyack*
2. Atlantic City – Josephine Rowe
3. Mansion On The Hill – Omar Musa
4. Johnny 99 – Gabriel Piras
5. Fade away … (Highway Patrolman) – Samuel Wagan Watson*
6. Batter (State Trooper) – Eric Dando*

Side B.
7. Used Cars – Jessica Alice
8. Open All Night – Josh Earl
9. My Father’s House – Alicia Sometimes
10. Reason To Believe – Emilie Zoey Baker
11. Born in the USA – Ben Pobjie**

*Text only, links to Cordite site. **Bonus track.

As the Cordite site doesn’t currently display or load the 8 audio tracks in the issue, I’m attaching them here for posterity.

The cover image for Cordite Poetry Review 37: No Theme! (2012), by Maxine Clarke

Cordite 37: No Theme!

Cordite 37: No Theme! is now online and features 40 new works by a whole bunch of poets who got super-excited by the opportunity to send us poems on any theme they liked. Or else, um, no theme at all.

Contributors:

Ali Smith, Andy Jackson, Angela Smith, Anne Carson, B N Oakman, Brendan Ryan, Bronwyn Lovell, Campbell Thomson, Claude Weller, Corey Wakeling, Emily Manger, Geoff Goodfellow, Graham Nunn, Greg McLaren, Jennifer Chrystie, John Jenkins & Ken Bolton, John Upton, Joran Monteiro, Kate Middleton, Ken Chau, Liam Ferney, Maurice McNamara, Michael Farrell, Michael Sharkey, Nathanael O’Reilly, Peter Boyle, Richard James Allen, Roger Clark, Rory Dufficy, Rose van Son, Sharanya Manivannan, Starkey David, Stephen Lawrence, Steve Brock, Suzanne Jones, Todd Turner and Tony Grey.

From the editorial by Alan Wearne:

An editor’s task should be exhilarating of course, if I hadn’t have thought it possessed this potential I would not have said ‘Yes’ to Cordite when approached. The attendant risks of course are very often those of ego, an editor’s true, but particularly of those you reject. How well I recall when as poetry editor of Meanjin under Judith Brett folk would send accompanying letters to the actual editor beginning Dear Sir … Well, since they didn’t bother to check we couldn’t be expected to publish could we? Mind you since a woman was now editor there were a number of female writers who sent in the kind of verse that assumed that Meanjin was now the flagship of sisterhood, mid 80s style. When one contributor received a note from me suggesting that her work might be shown to better effect as a sonnet I received a furious reply lecturing me as to how the sonnet was a patriarchal verse form, this amusing both the editor and myself.

The cover image for Cordite Poetry Review 36: Electronica (2011), by Maxine Clarke

Cordite 36: Electronica

I’m a bit behind the eight-ball here, but all the same it’s a real thrill to announce that Cordite 36: Electronica is now online!

The issue contains more poetry and poetics than you can poke a stick at. Here’s a run-down:

Contributors:

Gemma Mahadeo, Paul Giles, w.m.lewis, michael farrell, Kevin Gillam, Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers, Christopher Brew, Mark O’Flynn, Anne Gorrick, Misbah Khokhar, Angela Gardner, Greg McLaren, Mark Young, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Derek Motion, Jessica Wilkinson, Stuart Cooke, Helen Symonds, Joyce Parkes, Sam Langer, Rory Dufficy, Derek Rawson, Gregory Horne, Jenny Powell, Chris Oakey, Louise Molloy, Jessica Bell, Phillip A. Ellis, Eddie Paterson, Joanne Merriam, Christina Armstrong, Susan Adams, Sean M. Whelan and Isnod, komninos, Philip Norton, Pascalle Burton, Emilie Collyer, Mark William Jackson, Ian Gibbins, Jason Nelson, Konrad McCarthy, Joshua Mei-Ling Dubrau, Benjamin Laird, Maxine Clarke, Gareth Jenkins, Crixus, Jamison C. Lee, Sara Moss, Adam Fieled, Bev Braune, Sally Evans, Tim Wright, Alice Melike Ülgezer, David McCooey and Joseph Baron-Pravda.

From Jill Jones’ editorial:

Music can be read, obviously. It has its own visual patterns in composed forms, and in the 20th century musical notation has extended from common staff notation or tablatures, to other forms of graphic notation. The poem on the page also has its patterns, greatly enhanced by the digitisation of typographical design in the late 20th century. Sure, the Dada crowd were having fun with type a way back, not to forget our old friend, Mallarme. But the digital moves it onto other levels, layers and means of access.

I’m also happy to say I’ve got a couple or three pieces in the issue, the first of which is Tiny Steps: the Electr(on)ification of Cordite, a reflection on what it means to be ‘electronic’ or not when it comes to online poetry journals.

In addition, and as a reflection of my time spent this year working as part of the ELMCIP project, I’ve published an interview with Maria Engberg and an interview with Talan Memmott. Maria and Talan are my colleagues at BTH in Karlskrona, and it was great of them to spare some time to chat about all things e-lit.

35.2: OZKO (한국-호주 | HANGUK-HOJU) cover image by Ivy Alvarez

Cordite 35.2: Oz-ko (Hanguk-Hoju)

The thirty-fifth issue of Cordite features new poetry from Australia and Korea. Timed to coincide with the Australia-Korea Year of Friendship, which celebrates fifty years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Cordite 35: OZ-KO aimed to stimulate creative collaborations between Australian and Korean poets and readers, and features one hundred new poetic works, plus a variety of features and other articles.

Contributors:

KO Un, KIM Kyung Ju, KIM Ki-Taek, KIM Myung-in, KIM Sa-in, KIM Sun-Woo, KIM So Youn, KIM Un, KIM Hyesoon, RA Hee-duk, PARK Ra Youn, PARK Hyung Jun, SONG Kyung Dong, SIN Yongmok, SHIN Hae Wook, SHIM Bo Sun, LEE Seong-bok, LEE Si-young, JIN Eun-young and HWANG Tong gyu.

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Cordite 35.1: OZ-KO (HOJU-HANGUK) cover image by Ivy Alvarez

Cordite 35.1: Oz-Ko (Hoju-Hanguk)

Contributors: 

David Prater, Sebastian Gurciullo, Barry Hill, Ivy Alvarez, Terry Jaensch, Jane Gibian, Fiona Wright, Jill Jones, Pascalle Burton, Daniel O’Callaghan, Luke Beesley, Michelle Cahill, Corey Wakeling, Liam Ferney, David Stavanger, James Stuart, Stuart Cooke, Ouyang Yu, Christine Armstrong, Michael Farrell and Ali Alizadeh.

It’s kind of hard to believe, and in fact I’ve been feeling slightly delirious for the last few days, but I’ve finally managed to put together the second part of Cordite’s Oz-Ko issue devoted to all things Australian and Korean. While the first part of the issue, released in April, was a teaser or Envoy in the form of twenty poems in English, Oz-Ko (Hoju-Hanguk) is a full-blown bi-lingual exercise featuring forty new poems in English, and Hangul translations by 김재현 (Kim Gaihyun) and 김성현 (Kim Sunghyun).

Poets featured in this stage of the issue include our three touring Hojunauts (Ivy Alvarez, Barry Hill and Terry Jaensch) as well as a motley crew of contemporary Australian poets including Fiona Wright, Jane Gibian, Jill Jones, Pascalle Burton, Liam Ferney, Michael Farrell, Luke Beesley, David Stavanger, James Stuart and heaps more. In addition, we’ve been assembling a series of features on Australian and Korean poetry and culture, which you can now read at your leisure.

While I’m proud of each of the thirty-odd issues of Cordite that I’ve produced in my time as editor of the magazine, there will always be a special place reserved in my heart for Oz-Ko, no doubt partly because so much of my life has been invested in Korea. Having undertaken Asialink residencies in Seoul in 2005 and 2009, this third visit is really a culmination of all I once hoped to achieve in Korea, and perhaps that’s why I’m now feeling delirious. In any case, it’s a real thrill to see some Hangul finally make its way onto the Cordite site, and I really hope that some Korean readers get to experience contemporary Australian poetry in all its ragged glory.

Speaking of which, I’ve written two editorials for this issue. Well, three actually, if you include the Introduction to Oz-Ko (Envoy). Compared to that, the introduction to Oz-Ko (Hoju-Hangul) is a lot shorter, possibly due to fatigue. But the piece I’m actually really proud of is the Oz-Ko meta-poem I wrote and which features hyperlinks to each of the sixty poems already published in the issue (you can also view the Hangul version here, complete with URLs – don’t get me started on how long it took to format those!). Of course, for some readers I’m sure it will be a case of TL;DR but who cares what they think.

Here’s what I think: that the process of producing this truly bi-lingual issue has been just as important as the contents of the issue itself; that translation in this sense includes not just translation between languages but between electronic formats and systems; that Hangul script looks way cool; that Cordite 35: Oz-Ko is perhaps just the first step of a much larger and longer journey; and that after all this coding, formatting, stressing and navel-gazing, it’s time for a well-deserved soju or two.

David ‘Bek-Ho’ Prater, signing off for now.